Marketers today have more ways to reach consumers than they ever have before. With a plethora of options available, it has become really challenging to choose the best option out there. However, one of the best ways to start marketing with a budget-friendly method is through SMS service.
Before businesses start opting for SMS marketing, there is one important thing to consider to ensure legal compliance and an excellent experience for consumers, and that is whether to use a short code or a long code SMS service.
Let’s walk through the advantages and disadvantages of both to help marketers and top leaders decide which option makes the most sense for their business.
Short Codes SMS
Short codes are short five, or six-digit numbers used when sending SMS to the consumer. The target audience type in a particular keyword to the phone number provided by businesses to receive specific messages.
For instance, the business is a furniture shop, and some of the products are under 20% discount but only for VIP customers. If they need to message the business to take advantage of the promotion just launched, they can let them send a message to a short code like 95674, which is much easier to memorize than a 10-digit phone number.
There are two types of short codes:
Shared Short Codes
Various businesses use a shared short code. For these organizations to have separate traffic using the same number as everyone else, they must have their unique keywords.
Dedicated Short Codes
This is an exclusive five to six-digit number that businesses may obtain for their use, with dedicated shortcodes, they can choose from generated codes. This gives you full control of your brand’s SMS marketing, but there is some fee involved.
Some of the advantages of SMS short code are:
- Businesses are the only one using this number
- Businesses can select the keyword that they need or like
- Businesses can easily manage and monitor their business’s SMS campaigns
- The dedicated Short Code will never be affected if there are issues with shared shortcodes
Disadvantages of Short Codes:
- Short codes are highly regulated and state-specific.
- Businesses can only send short code SMS texts to consumers who have specifically opted to receive text messages.
- Shared short codes have lower sending speeds because of their high-volume capabilities.
- Dedicated short codes take time to set up generally two to three weeks.
When Can Businesses Use Short Codes
Businesses can use short codes sms for campaigns such as surveys, announcements, discounts, special deals, and much more.
Long Codes SMS
Long codes are standard phone numbers composed of 10 digits, but with different purposes.
Advantages of long code:
- Long code can be operational within hours.
- Long codes are less expensive than shortcodes.
- Businesses can use one number to send SMS messages, make and receive calls, thus creating consistency across all the communication channels.
- Ten-digit numbers look like they come from real people and not from any robot, thus more human touch.
- Improve consumer service and build brand reputation.
Disadvantages of Long Code SMS service:
- Long codes are not ideal for bulk messaging, since it takes about a second to send each text.
- If the business number isn’t in the customer’s contact list, they may not recognize the brand and ignore the texts.
- Although monthly fees are less, the cost of long code SMS messages can be higher than short code SMS depending on the service demand.
There is no doubt that bulk SMS marketing will become one of the imperative channels for customer communication in the near future. However, businesses need to first understand how they want to use SMS service and then decide whether to choose a long code or short code or both depending on the organization goals.